Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Apple Way

Networks (Lee), Nigel, Walter and myself had another meeting about Apple Way. We think we have a plan. With all those families and the entire squatters camp scheduled for demolition in the spring we are unable to make any big investments in building materials.

We will continue covering leaking roofs with nylon. We have identified what we feel are the biggest needs: shelter to keep rain and snow out; heating; food; and medicine for the winter. Once it gets really cold many many of those children will become sick. We have settled on providing the staple of flour. Lee wrote up a rough budget and we feel it is doable. We will see if the City Hall is determining which of the families have identification papers for the judet of Arad - that will help to get placement elsewhere. Lee is going to talk to the forest master and see if he will let us come in with two helpers from the camp to remove downed trees and limbs etc. If the answer is no then we will buy some wood but the truth of the matter is they will go in and take what they need and we'll just not question where the wood comes from.

We are all spending time in that area just talking to people and building relationships, this allows us to assess the needs ourselves. Nigel and Walter are so faithful about being there often and spending many hours there. Today Walter and Ionut were cutting up wood for several families (did I want to know where a couple of them got the telephone poles? Ah, no I didn't). I found a few older ladies that may qualify for the Widow's Mite program so I'll go back especially to visit them.

I think most everyone is leaving in Dec. and Jan. but the houses should be fixed by then and we will be down to the distribution of the flour, medicine and wood by then. Peter will be here until February so that will help.

I am glad we have a plan! If you just look on the surface that place can be overwhelming! We look with western eyes and think "how can people live like that?" but they do and many have survived many years living in those conditions - do babies die? Yes. Do people die much earlier than other groups? Yes. Do all those beautiful children eat everyday? No. Can I fix it? No. Can I do something? Yes.

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